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You may be a victim...  (Read 12118 times)
Na
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« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2012, 11:14:22 pm »

Watermarking images can work ok.  You might notice that Na does that with her images.  There really is no way to watermark text.  This is really hard to stop. These folks are reading the text on your site then typing it into other sites.  There is no real way to detect that so you can't point folks to your site when that happens. Now something you could do if the site has comments like e.how is add a comment telling folks where they could find the full information.  The thing about that is the comments are so far down the page it is unlikely anyone would see them. Sad

The thing is that watermarking doesn't actually prevent stealing. It does slightly discourage it, but I've found my watermarked images on other people's sites (I mean, sites I have nothing to do with). People will steal whatever they think they can get away with. So you have to police your work - and one of the ways you can do that is by sending a DMCA (cease and desist, although DMCA is for American websites/web hosts only... you can probably send similar emails/letters to others too) to have the stuff removed. If they're just spammers it's not likely to do much, but I've been successful in having stuff removed from some other sites: including one certain *puppetry* website.

As for leaving comments: I've left comments on articles which were plagiarised on eHow. Not only do I get a bare minimum response from the staff, but I've even had them removed. Puppetry is such a niche subject and people are only really looking for the tutorial, so I'm not surprised if no one from the public is even aware that the comments are there.

Na
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2012, 11:18:47 pm »

I thought (maybe stupidly so) that one could make a very big watermark over the page on which the text is printed (okay, that would take some work: Maybe taking GIMP or such, putting the watermark on a page and the text on top of that. So you'd also have the text as image, not as text, so copy- paste would not do the job- and would get the watermark, too.) Do you think that could work? Okay, quick editing of text is impossible then...

That wouldn't work mainly because of two things: you can still download the image, with the text in it. (Yeah it takes longer to translate text out of an image, but it can still be done)

The other is that you make your site completely unreadable for anyone who uses a text reader - visually disabled people - and bad for SEO. Google, etc can't read text in an image, so basically your site would be practically blank for their purposes, and this drops your site off results pages.

Again, the issue is not "how can I stop people from stealing", it's "how can I educate people so they respect my work". Two different approaches, with two different outcomes. The first makes you do all the work with the stealer do nothing, the second makes the other person the criminal and you do very little work.
Rikka
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« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2012, 11:58:13 pm »

I don't think it could be done. The "ordinary Joe" will not respect work. They hardly respect the work of high rated professional artist, so why us "hobbyists"? I know that some people here are as much pros as Phil Collins or Joseph Beuys but art doesn't seem to be considered work. We have an expression over here: "breadless art". Artists seem to be respected when they're famous and die, never before...
« Last Edit: July 20, 2012, 12:02:23 am by Rikka »
Na
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« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2012, 02:22:13 am »

I don't think it could be done. The "ordinary Joe" will not respect work. They hardly respect the work of high rated professional artist, so why us "hobbyists"? I know that some people here are as much pros as Phil Collins or Joseph Beuys but art doesn't seem to be considered work. We have an expression over here: "breadless art". Artists seem to be respected when they're famous and die, never before...

Of course it's an uphill battle - which is why we can't simply leave it to sites like eHow to follow through. We need to make sure that other people know about it; talk about it; attempt to prevent it; and educate others.

Which is why even if I won the battle with eHow myself, I'm going to keep harping on about it Wink
Rikka
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« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2012, 03:12:53 am »

Please be a bard, you'll do a spiffy job! Wink
Na
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2012, 03:54:23 am »

Please be a bard, you'll do a spiffy job! Wink

Sadly, I have no musical talent... Smiley
Na
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2012, 04:07:33 am »

This is one of the photos I was referring to:
http://www.ehow.com/about_5299315_did-string-puppetry-begin.html
Rikka
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2012, 07:17:37 am »

What I meant was that you're a great harping talent! Wink
Wheels47130
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2012, 10:56:41 pm »

Not to be the barer of bad news, however I am a Professional photographer. Image and content theft is a fact of the internet. It's easy for us to reach the world, and it's easy to steal our work. When posting photos always post the lowest quality you can that will work on that site. If you see your stuff or tips on a "forum" type of site make a comment saying you are the original artist and for more info go to your website. By all means tell your friends to leave comments saying the same!
There is really no way to stop it. Just do what you can, however don't let it really bother you. Think of it as flattery. You must be doing it right if others need to steal your stuff. Take it as a compliment and don't let it get you down.
Rikka
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« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2012, 02:17:26 am »

For those who depend financially on their own contend this is not much of a comfort, I am afraid... But you're probably right. I just heard of design copying again...
Na
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« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2012, 05:29:58 am »

Not to be the barer of bad news, however I am a Professional photographer. Image and content theft is a fact of the internet. It's easy for us to reach the world, and it's easy to steal our work. When posting photos always post the lowest quality you can that will work on that site. If you see your stuff or tips on a "forum" type of site make a comment saying you are the original artist and for more info go to your website. By all means tell your friends to leave comments saying the same!
There is really no way to stop it. Just do what you can, however don't let it really bother you. Think of it as flattery. You must be doing it right if others need to steal your stuff. Take it as a compliment and don't let it get you down.

Posting low quality pics doesn't help if you're trying to sell a product. Most people will not buy something if the pictures are bad.

I don't consider it flattering when someone steals my car. Why should I be flattered when people break the law?

Just because something is being done, has always been done, doesn't make it right nor not worth fighting.

Eg. "Not to be the bearer of bad news, however I am a Professional farmer. Slavery is a fact of the world. ... There's really no way to stop it".
Rikka
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« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2012, 06:15:55 am »

Loads of people don't feel they do anything wrong just by copying (in comparism to shoplifting or slavery). The pirate party over here really does argue this way: if one takes contend but you still have it, too, it is not stolen, because you still have it.
I would have no idea how you change this kind of thinking. But if you have an idea, please share it. (I know it worked with slavery, but that did take a few centuries, too)
Na
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« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2012, 07:25:11 pm »

Loads of people don't feel they do anything wrong just by copying (in comparism to shoplifting or slavery). The pirate party over here really does argue this way: if one takes contend but you still have it, too, it is not stolen, because you still have it.
I would have no idea how you change this kind of thinking. But if you have an idea, please share it. (I know it worked with slavery, but that did take a few centuries, too)

This is true - however "feelings" have nothing to do with the law. If you don't like the law, protest, get involved in government, vote someone in who will change it, or challenge the case law. But until it changes, that's what the law is.

An example: Joe Blow "feels" that it's wrong to get arrested for murder. A bunch of his friends agree with him. Therefore it's ok for them to ignore the law.

You can say "in comparison" all you like, but at the end of the day you can't pick and choose which laws to follow.

How to change this kind of thinking: educate people about what copyright actually is and how it affects real world people. The majority of people I've come across don't care about copyright (or rather don't care about plagiarism) is because they don't think it affects anyone. Which is probably why shoplifting or slavery seem like they're more important.

One can say plagiarism is shoplifting: taking a product without permission or payment.
Rikka
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« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2012, 01:46:25 am »

I totally agree with you, Na, it is just what I hear over here. It may be quite different in Australia. As I said, people here want to get rid of the copyright laws as they are. Maybe they even will (of course that'll clash with international laws, but we'll have to see how far they'll really go- election is in fall next year).
True, law is law and a feeling will not change a law. But it is darn hard to enforce copyright laws on the internet (if you don't have the odd million to spend on lawyers and even then it is hard- ask MGM, Warner Bros or any of the big guys). Also you said you want to make people respect your right to your own creation (which is only fair in my eyes)- after all, you will not be able to sue everybody and it is technically impossible to avoid this kind of stealing.
I just try to make it clear in my mind what you are getting at:
- technically prevent stealing (not possible)
- enforce copyright laws/ sue violaters (finances will be a hard one)
after all, the laws are there, they are just not as easy to enforce due to the anonymous state of the web.
- change people's minds about taking stuff for free someone has had a hard job to do.
Okay, then we would need to know WHY are people thinking this way? I say they just don't see violating copyrights as a crime (like they would be crimes like stealing or slavery). Many people do not see the stealing part as you still have your original, they only have a copy. And why should they pay for anything you put into the net for free? (I do NOT agree with all these arguments. I just think to change the mind of someone, you need to know how and why he feels this way).
So, if people would pay you it would be less advantageous for them which puts you at odds with them in the beginning. (That's why the whole copyright issue never comes to a stop over here- for copying a movie you can be sued for as much as 50.000,- € and five years prison, they say it in the intro of many DVDs (mostly the older ones. It didn't have that much of an effect) and still: people keep on copying. So you have to apply to their morale (which will not work for everybody. Like Brecht said: "First comes the feeding, then the morale!" (I translated. It is from the three penny opera) or you will have to prove to them, that it is more beneficial for THEM to pay you a bit so that you can keep on doing your stuff. They try this here (for movies and music), but it doesn't seem to get though, so you'd need a very good idea. To get the whole big community of the web to not only recognize you but to agree with you that a bit of a cost for them to you is beneficial to all is a heck of a task. Maybe that's also what Wheels47130 is getting at: it would take a backbreaking effort as even the big music and movie companies could not do it (at least not over here, don't know about other contries).
If it is not between you and the web but between you and ehow (I am not totally sure about which one it is) and you cannot sue you could try to get like thousands friends to google puppetry related keywords and go on your page instead of ehow for a week or a month so they would take a place below you in google. I would be with you for that for sure...
Na
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« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2012, 05:11:21 am »

I totally agree with you, Na, it is just what I hear over here. It may be quite different in Australia. As I said, people here want to get rid of the copyright laws as they are. Maybe they even will (of course that'll clash with international laws, but we'll have to see how far they'll really go- election is in fall next year).


Well, I don't agree with those people - but certainly if they're lobbying and using the political process to try to change things, that's their right and I support that method. What I don't support is people simply ignoring it or specifically breaking the law because they don't agree with it.

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True, law is law and a feeling will not change a law. But it is darn hard to enforce copyright laws on the internet (if you don't have the odd million to spend on lawyers and even then it is hard- ask MGM, Warner Bros or any of the big guys).


Yes - but there are ways to protect yourself. There are a number of cheap/easy methods to protect your work, including going after the people who steal it. There's of course using publicity to your advantage: using Twitter, Facebook, etc to announce to people to look at copyrights and the plagiarists. Some people you can shame; some people it's a matter of presenting a take-down  notice; etc. Not all methods will work, and I'm not at all suggesting it's easy. You don't actually have to sue people in order to protect your stuff.

It may be hard, but the trick is to get it to be unprofitable for the plagiarists: whether that be by bad publicity or loss of sales, or whatever.

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- technically prevent stealing (not possible)


No, but you can make it harder by adding watermarks, registering copyright, paying attention to copies (sites like Plagium.com check your work against the whole of the net looking for copies - I used it to find a few myself), and then going after the people who do it.

Consider this: shoplifting is a big problem for store owners. Can it be completely gotten rid of? No of course not. But by having security guards, CCTV, electronic scanners, etc, you greatly reduce the chances of it happening to you. Just because getting rid of it entirely is not possible doesn't mean you give up altogether.

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- enforce copyright laws/ sue violaters (finances will be a hard one)


Again, this is not entirely true. I have "enforced copyright laws" by sending take-down notices to those people who plagiarised. All it took was an EMAIL. In order to find the plagiarists, I either happened onto it (ie. by checking my web stats via a *free* stat collecting site) or I used Plagium (that took money, but about $10 USD worth). In one case I have had little luck, and that's only because the info was on a spam site and they have ignored my emails - they use a non-American host which makes it harder to enforce copyright. (American web hosts have to follow the DMCA which means if you report plagiarism to them they have to follow through)

Even if I was going to sue - and there's no point over "small fries" - there are other options than spending money. I don't know about Germany, but here we have community legal services, specifically set up for people of low income. They're usually aimed at providing family law, etc - however they often provide a referral service to more appropriate firms who offer those things. Law firms even offer pro bono - free - services, so there's that too.

If that weren't enough, we're lucky to have the Arts Law Centre of Australia: an organisation specifically set up to provide legal advice to artists. I am currently in contact with them for an unrelated matter, and the advice I receive is 100% free - if you earn less than a certain amount, there is no charge. (I don't know, but I suspect those above that level get charged a small amount, but not the usual fees a lawyer might get)

AND if that were still not enough, there are guys like this:
http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/
Who offer services which deal with plagiarism. They do things like: check your site for plagiarism; check your stuff against others; send take-down notices; legal advice and services; etc. I've chatted to them, and they actually sometimes offer cheaper fees if you're not-for-profit or whatever.

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- change people's minds about taking stuff for free someone has had a hard job to do.


I agree. Which is why we need to talk about it more, instead of just shrugging our shoulders and giving up in defeat.

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Many people do not see the stealing part as you still have your original, they only have a copy.


This is a misunderstanding of how copyright works, as well as the internet. If I say, take a photo, and have the digital copy on my computer - or the film if you're using old cameras - then yes, I suppose I have the "original".

However, that does not work for blog posts. I do not write up blog posts on my computer and then transfer them to the internet. I write directly into my blog hosting program - a database on my web host - and press publish. The "original" is what you see on the website.

Either way: you're still *copying* the content. Just because I have an original doesn't make it ok to copy.

... A real world example: The Mona Lisa is given to a German art gallery as a loan. Whilst there, some arts professor decides to make an exact copy of the painting, oils and all. The Mona Lisa is returned to France. The French still have the original painting, but now the Germans have an exact copy.

You know what happens? The professor is arrested for art fraud.

The problem is that people genuinely think that somehow the internet is different to the real world.

This also hints at a larger misunderstanding, the one where it "doesn't hurt anyone". Take me for instance - I provide an article on a certain puppetry topic. I'm the only one on the internet who has written about this issue, and someone decides to copy this word-for-word. I still have the original: but where they've posted this info is more well-known (ie. eHow) and they have taken credit for my work. Now, I go to apply for a freelance writing job. As part of my application, they ask for samples of my work. I send them a copy of my article. They reply back: No sorry, we won't hire you, you copied *someone else's work* from eHow.

This affects my ability to earn money. Do I have the original? Yes. I even showed it to someone else for a job application. But the problem with plagiarism and fraud in general is that having the originality doesn't really matter. It's the same reason why the movie industry is challenging all the fake DVDs coming out of China; and why the music industry gets annoyed when people post copies of songs on their website to download for free.

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And why should they pay for anything you put into the net for free?


That's not an argument I've ever heard before. Did you mean "why should they pay for something they can get for free somewhere else?"

If so, it goes to what I was saying about people thinking it doesn't hurt someone's bottom line.

If I take the sentence literally, I am not asking for payment for most of my articles. That doesn't mean they can still copy it. Just because something is freely available doesn't mean there's no copyright attached. Again, go back to the Mona Lisa. Entering most galleries is free or cheap. You can wander around, look at the painting, but if you try and take a photograph of the Mona Lisa, you'll be stopped. You walked in and looked at it for free: why shouldn't you be able to take a photo, go home, print off copies, and sell them? You walked in for free: why shouldn't you take a photo, use it to make a copy, and sell it to the highest bidder? Payment to see the original work has nothing to do with it.

 
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I do NOT agree with all these arguments. I just think to change the mind of someone, you need to know how and why he feels this way)


I agree with you.

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They say it in the intro of many DVDs (mostly the older ones. It didn't have that much of an effect) and still: people keep on copying.


Because: it's still profitable to do it and extremely hard to police; and because people often don't understand the true effect it has on average hard-working people.

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That it is more beneficial for THEM to pay you a bit so that you can keep on doing your stuff.


No, you don't have to do that at all. I'm not talking about paying me so I can keep doing what I'm doing. I'm talking about people not using ANY info, whether behind a paywall or not, without permission. Money has nothing to do with it.

Maybe that's the issue here: I'm not asking the "whole big community of the web" to recognise and agree to a PRICE. I'm talking about getting some puppeteers who publish their works on the internet to be more aware of their own rights and to police them, and to put more pressure on the people who do plagiarise. You're right music and movie industries suck at doing it: for the very reason that most people who are doing it look at big name movie/music stars and say "they can afford to lose a million". They don't get that it affects average people, which is what I'm getting at. It's also partly a big sense of entitlement: they feel entitled to have what they want now. I've had this exact argument with people on Yahoo Answers who want an instant 1-2-3 paint-by-numbers pattern of the Potter Puppet Pals. They don't care that the characters are copyrighted, they don't care that the patterns don't exist or that to make them (specifically because there's a market for them) would be illegal, or that it's impossible to recreate a puppet by guesswork only... they just want the puppets, and they want them now. They even complain that it's just for decoration, so why can't someone just give them a pattern? Without thinking that perhaps even if that were true (hard to tell via anonymous internet if what they will really do is latter go and use them to sell on Etsy) that the creators might be offended that people are making patterns/puppets that rip off their hard work.

People tend to see those who sue for copyright infringement as "bad guys", as simply people who want to stifle other people's enjoyment. But let's take FAO Schwarz puppets for instance. If someone out there copied the puppets, and say, gave exact replicas out to people for free (removing the money motive), and Disney sues... "Disney" is the bad guy. All the while people forget that FAO Schwarz employs hard-working people, that Disney hires hard-working and very talented puppet makers. Their financial position is worse off because they have to compete with a plagiarist, and their self-worth is diminished because the general public thinks little of the work. Imagine now if the replicas are badly made. People usually don't bother to check whether an item is legit merchandise or not. Even if they did, let's say the replica-maker is good at fraudulently presenting themselves in marketing, etc as an official merchandiser. A few people buy replicas, but discover the quality is crap. Now they recommend to their friends and family not to buy FAO Schwarz puppets: so now the real puppet makers and salespeople are trying to combat bad marketing and may be out of a job or their hours cut back because less people are buying their products. -- By the way, this is an actual real world example; the only thing I changed is that the replica maker was actually earning money.

So you see, whether someone *pays* or not, it has a real effect on real people. No one has to pay for anything, they just have to *not* copy stuff without permission.

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If it is not between you and the web but between you and ehow (I am not totally sure about which one it is) and you cannot sue you could try to get like thousands friends to google puppetry related keywords and go on your page instead of ehow for a week or a month so they would take a place below you in google. I would be with you for that for sure...


It's both. I've been plagiarised by many people - some spammers, some eHow, and some puppeteers. (Yep, that last one is true!) eHow just makes for a good example since they are continual offenders and often steal other puppeteers' work.

As for trying to get people from ehow to my site, that is not possible. To entirely and completely get people to ignore that site you would have to do many many things:
Teach people that the site is not a reliable resource, which is near impossible given the number of people who believe all sorts of ridiculous things based on internet research and an assumption that what they find is true and correct
Severely convince young people, who don't give a stuff about anything other than having info NOW and FREE, to ignore easily available and extremely simplistic info
Get MILLIONS of visitors daily, as compared to the less than 1000 I get at the moment
Fill my site with unrelated info, because eHow isn't just for puppetry info and therefore attracts a wider audience
Get on the bad side of google and other search engines for obviously trying to use "black hat" methods (ie. bad advertising techniques) in order to shore up interest in my site
...

...
And this is to say nothing of the fact that all of those issues don't actually change the problem, which is that eHow writers/editors don't give a * about copyrights, don't understand them, and don't police their own content. eHow is an ideal example of what's wrong: people don't understand or care that it is illegal and affects real people.

It's far easier to battle the actual problem than to invent new ones with a google war.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 05:48:52 am by Na »
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